I have a confession. About once a week, when I put my son to bed for the night, I sit outside his room and cry.
It’s silly and embrassing and maybe unnecessary, but I truly can’t help myself. It’s a moment that sweeps me up like a wave and carries me for a few minutes until it dumps me back onto the sandy shores of my life.
Why am I crying?
I’m crying for everything. I’m crying because I’m tried and frustrated and probably resentful for the meaningless tasks that consume my life every day. I cry because it’s one of the only moments I can drink up and appreciate. He’s sweet when he’s tired and getting ready for bed and touching my nose and saying, “nose,” and touching his nose and saying, “nose,” because he’s realizing we both have noses and his nose really is my nose isn’t it?
I’m crying because, for that moment, time may or may not stand still. I’m excited because I finally get to have one three glass of wine, but I feel melancholy because I know in four hours I’ll start to miss him and have to look at pictures of him on my phone for a few seconds.
I’m crying because moments like these, when he’s tugging on my nose and saying “I love you, Mommy” are what life is. Life is the moments between the monumentally shitty things that happen to you. Life is the moments between the people you love dying. Life is the moments when you’re grateful for the lessons you’ve learned and you take time to appreciate the lessons others have learned because those lessons have shaped those people into the ones you love.
I’m also crying because I’m terrified something will happen to my son and I won’t get those moments, so I appreciate them so much more. And I’m crying because I hope and pray that he’ll live long enough to go through that thing where he hates his mother because she screwed him up. The moments that matter are the ones that don’t matter. I spend a few minutes every week chasing them and crying for them and I sort of hope you do too.